US 3337883 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent Ofilice 3,337,883 Patented Aug. 29, 1967 3,337,883 HEAD REST John Duncan Allison, 2836 Matilda St., St. Paul, Minn. 55117 Filed Oct. 22, 1965, Ser. No. 500,877 Claims. (Cl. 5-338) This invention relates to an improvement in head rest and deals particularly with a device capable of supporting the head and cervical spine of a patient in a comfortable position while lying prone for treatment to the posterior cervical and thoracic areas.
Considerable difliculty is experienced in supporting the head and cervical spine of a patient who must maintain a prone position and where the face of a patient must be supported directed downwardly. The most common method of treatment is to place a towel roll beneath the forehead of the patient and to place pillows beneath the thorax and abdomen. Though the patient may be throughly relaxed for a short period of time, he soon seeks a new position to reduce local discomfort. In addition to musculoskeletal complaints, the patient commonly complains of pressure across the forehead, or finds that it is diflicult to breathe in this position.
The object of the present invention lies in the provision of a simple but extremely effective head rest capable of supporting the head of a patient face downwardly. In general, the device comprises a concave trough-shaped support designed to accommodate the face of the patient, and including cut-away central portions to accommodate the eyes, nose, and mouth of the patient. A pad of soft foam plastic lines in the inner-surface of the support, and is preferably cut-away similarly to the support. As a result, weight bearing surfaces are provided for the forehead, maxillary areas, the chin, and lateral borders of the face to maintain the head in an anatomical alignment. Normally, a disposable absorbent tissue is used between the cushioning pad and the patient for sanitary reasons.
The concave body is supported by a pair of leg panels which are integrally secured to the upper edges of the concave body. These leg panels extend downwardly in generally parallel relation to a point sufliciently below the body to provide adequate clearance for the nose. The lower surfaces of the leg panels are preferably rounded comfortable position.
A feature of the present invention resides in the provision of a device of the type described preferably formed of clear plastic. While the plastic foam cushion tends to restrict the passage of light through the padded areas, light may pass through the like panels and beneath the body of the support to reduce the closed-in feeling often experienced when the patient is excluded from light.
An added feature of the present invention resides in the provision of bearing flanges extending outwardly from the curved edges of the supporting legs to increase the supporting surface by the head rest thereupon.
A further feature of the present invention resides in the provision of a head rest of the type described which is preferably constructed of a plastic material which is sufliciently flexible and resilient to readily compensate for heads of varying sizes. When the head to be supported is somewhat wider than normal, the lower ends of the leg panels may be swung together to a certain extent, causing the upper ends of the leg panels to swing farther apart, thereby increasing the radius of curvature of the support ing body.
These and other objects and novel features of the present invention will be more clearly and fully set forth in th following specification and claims.
In the drawings forming a part of the specification:
FIGURE 1 is a perspective view of the head rest in readiness for use.
FIGURE 2 is a vertical sectional view through the longitudinal center of the head rest.
FIGURE 3 is an end elevational view of the head rest.
FIGURE 4 is a diagrammatic view of the cushioning pad removed from the head rest.
FIGURE 5 is a top plan view of the head rest.
The head rest is indicated in general by the letter A, and includes a pad of a foam plastic which was indicated in general by the letter B. The pad B is designed to cover that portion of the head rest A which would otherwise come into contact with the head of the patient.
The head rest A includes a hollow trough-shaped body 10 formed of plastic sheet material such as Plexiglas and which is preferably of sufficient length to extend from the chin to the forehead of the patient. The inner-surface of the head rest at the chin receiving end thereof is substantially semi-cylindrical. As is best illustrated in FIGURE 5 of the drawings, the center of the trough-shaped portion is apert-ured to avoid contact with the eyes, nose, and mouth of the patient. The aperture, which is indicated in general by the numeral 11, includes an upper portion 12 which extends the major portion of the width of the trough-shaped body and which is designed to register with the eyes of the patient. The aperture 11 is narrowed to provide a pair of inwardly extending cheek supports 13 designed to underlie lateral portions of the face on either side of the nose. The aperture 11 is then provided with a wider aperture portion 15 designed to underlie the mouth of the patient. The lower end of the aperture 11 is curved or rounded as indicated at 16 spaced from an end of the trough-shaped support suflicient to provide a chin engaging strap 17 between the aperture 11 and the straight edge 19 of the head rest. The upper edge of the aperture portion 12 is similarly spaced from the parallel upper edge 20 of the trough-shaped body to provide a forehead supporting strap 21 between the aperture 11 and the edge 20.
As is evident from FIGURE 3 of the drawings, the strap portion 21 designed to support the forehead of the patient is flattened out to be somewhat shallower than the strap portion 17 designed to support the chin. The cheek supporting portions 13 are preferably slightly above the level of the flattened strap 21, due to the curvature of the face.
The opposite sides of the trough-shaped body port-ion 10 are reversely bent as indicated at 22 to provide a pair of substantially parallel supporting plates or legs 23. As is indicated in FIGURES 1 and 2 of the drawings, the under-surfaces 24 of the legs 23 are downwardly convex in order to provide a curved supporting surface. The purpose of the curved under-surfaces 24 is to permit a rocking movement of the head rest permitting the head resting upon the head rest to assume a comfortable angle. Curved outwardly directed flanges 25 extend along the curved leg edges 24 and extend outwardly in opposed relation from the leg 23. The purpose of the flanges 25 is to provide an increased bearing surface and to prevent the weight of the head from marring the surface on which the head rest is supported.
The pad B may be formed of a material such as polyurethane foam of substantial thickness. The pad B is of a width substantially equal to the width of the upper concave surface of the trough-shaped body head, and is provided with an aperture 26 which corresponds in shape to the aperture 11 in the trough-shaped body 10. As a result, the foam pad B lies between the surface of the head of the patient and the body of the head rest throughout the entire area thereof. r
As indicated, the aperture 26 in the pad B has a wide portion 27 corresponding to the wide portion 12 of the aperture 11, a narrower portion 29 designed to overlie the inwardly opposed cheek supporting portions 13, and a wider portion 30 corresponding in shape and size to the portion 15 of the aperture 11.
In view of the fact that the material forming the head rest is of a somewhat resilient nature, the shape of the trough-shaped body may be varied somewhat to fit the head of patient. For a relatively narrow head, the leg 23 may be spread apart more than the normal amount, flexing the body of the head rest into the position illustrated in dotted outline in FIGURE 3 of the drawings. This decreases the width of the trough-shaped body to some extent as indicated. For a Wider head, the leg 23 may be urged somewhat closer together .at the lower ends, increasing the radius of curvature and permitting the head rest to accommodate a somewhat wider head.
In accordance with the patent statutes, I have described the principles of construction and operation of my improvement in head rest, and while I have endeavored to set forth the best embodiment thereof, I desire to have it understood that changes may be made within the scope of the following claims without departing from the spirit of my invention.
1. A head rest device including:
a concave trough-shaped support allel upper side edges,
said support having a central cut away portion to acco-mmodate the eyes, nose and mouth of the user,
the side edges of said support being reversely bent to provide leg panels extending downwardly therefrom to terminate below the level of said trough-shaped support,
a resilient cushioning pad secured to the inner surface of said trough-shaped support and coextensive therewith having generally paran opening in said cushioning pad similar in shape to, and coextensive with, the said cut away portion in said trough-shaped support,
said trough-shaped support being formed of flexible resilient sheet plastic capable of flexing the troughshaped support side edges inwardly toward one another when weight is placed on said support to snug the sides of said support against the sides of the head of the user.
2. The structure of claim 1 and in which said leg panels are provided with curved lower edges adapted to support said support for rocking motion.
3. The structure of claim 2 and in which the lower ends of said leg panels are bent outwardly along said curved edges to provide integral bearing flanges.
4. The structure of claim 1 and in which the leg panels are of transparent plastic to admit light rays theret-hrough.
S. The structure of claim 1 and in which the central cut away portion includes wide areas beneath the eyes and mouth and a narrower connecting area to accommodate the nose formed between inwardly extending cheek supports, the upper surfaces of the cheek supports being above the level of the forehead supporting portion of said body, and said forehead supporting portion being above the level of the chin supporting portion of said body.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 278,361 5/ 1883 Prescott 5-338 1,682,685 8/ 1928 Rodery 297273 2,634,435 4/ 1953 Budd 5-338 3,139,631 7/ 1964- Kiefer 5-337 FOREIGN PATENTS 261,511 11/1956 Great 'Britain.
DAVID J. WILLIAMOWSKY, Primary Examiner.
FRANK B. SHERRY, Examiner.
A. M. CALVERT, Assistant Examiner.